3.31.2014

Ian Stannard out Ronde and Roubaix

In Gent-Wevelgem he crashed bad and went to the hospital. That's what they found out. Sad! :(
Team Sky doctor said: 
 “Ian has a fracture in one of his vertebrae as a result of his fall. The fracture is stable and he will undergo a review with a UK-based neurosurgeon this week, as well as having an MR scan. That should allow us to find out more information following his CT scan.”
Ian Stannard said:
“I won’t know how long I’m out for until we speak to the specialist, but it’s not going to be in time for the Flanders or Roubaix
You can’t rush and injury like this and I’ve just got to rest up now. Once I’ve spoken to the specialist I’ll have a better idea of what I can and can’t do, and then I’ll be able to focus on my recovery.
I’m gutted not to be riding in those races and it’s going to be really hard to watch them on TV. To be honest, I haven’t had time to really think about it yet because it’s been pretty painful 24 hours.
They are only bike races at the end of the day - and there’ll be plenty more chances to ride them in the future.
Someone came across the road in front of me from the right and their rear derailleur got caught in my spokes. I thought I’d got control of it but then they looked around to see who they’d hit and that flicked my bike again and I went straight into the ditch.
That was the first time I’ve ever had to stay in hospital overnight, and hopefully the last time as well.”
On twitter:
Team Sky
"We're sad to announce will miss and after his crash at Gent-Wevelgem."
Juan Antonio Flecha tweeted:

Catalunya Sum Up: Race, Riders and Teams

Stage 7: Barcellona in the pourring rain
Take it easy, I forgot something for sure and my marks are absolutely subjective - even if I watched the race and checked the results. Your opinion is welcome.

Route: very good and balanced. Maybe it wasn't needed a 2000 m finish so early in the season.
Weather: bad :(
Safety: some riders complained about the lack of understanding by the race organizers and jury and asked to be listened more about such a sensitive problem. Riders are used to race in snow, cold, rain and wind but it depends on many factors if those 'normal' element make the race 'hard' or 'dangerous'. I agree that riders should have the last word.
Show: good. Atop finishes and fast sprints, successful break-aways, nothing was missed! 
Interpretation: riders do the race. I'd say here they did it well.
 
RIDERS
Good 
Joaquin Rodrigues: he won...so he's right! no: but he worked hard and wisely so deserved to win.
Alberto Contador: you can be lazy after you win a big race, not the case! always on the attack and brilliant. 
Tejay van Garderen: not so brilliant but effective. He still have to improve a bit but a podium is good.
Stef Clement: WHO-AH-WOOOW!! I like that rider here!! BRAVO!! King of Mountain and one stage win. As modest as strong. Keep on and allow yourself a bit more selfestime ;)
Michel Koch: almost in every break-away, winner of the Points Jersey. Determined!
Lieuwe Westra: no need introduction, great rider. Stage winner here, more to come. Also a team hard-worker!
Luka Mezgec: simply amazing. Not only because he won 3 stages but also because he had planned it!
Romain Bardet: one of my favourite riders, focusing on the GC probably missed a stage win. But 4th is great!
Domenico Pozzovivo: he found his balance and maturity. 8th is a wonderful result, I don't think he cang go further than a top 5. 
Julien Alaphilippe: a pure talent! how many podium places did he collected so far? more to come!
Robert Kiserlovski: special mention. His team couldn't support him at all because it was down to 4 riders but he managed to defend his top ten spot against a very eager Wico Kelderman.
Adam Yates 22th in final GC: not bad at all fpr a neo-pro!
Daniele Ratto: a podium place and many tries. Large margins of improvement.
Jens Voigt: well... it's the last year for the warrier - it seems - but he's still one of the ost dangerous in the bunch when it's about to break-away and attack in the last km. What a career!
David Lopez Garcia: a priceless mate for Froome here as it has been fot Thomas in Paris-Nice. Finished 17th.
Bad 
Dan Martin: I thought he crashed and lost a lot of time so gave up for the GC... but no. Simply not good... (16th).
RigobertoUran: He started as team leader but I didn't see him at all.
Porte, Betancur, Geniez, Clarke, Arredondo abandoned dued to illness.
Giacomo Nizzolo crashed out.
LL Sanchez: ? I expected much more!
So so
Chris Froome: not 100% yet but improving. He lost Porte's support and his team wasn't terrific. He did his best and didn't take the race as a training in spite of his condition.
Nairo Quintana: a rider I don't understand. He looks strong but shy. He waits too long. Still young though...
Wilco Kelderman: ambicious and determined, he lost some time here and there. Some precious stage resuls and lots of time ahead.
Jakob Fuglsang: serious and profesional, he takes seriously his job. His talent is limited but his determination huge. You see him when he is in a race. Results are a different thing.
Thomas Voeckler: I often think it's just a play, he puts on the mask of the attacking rider and goes, sometimes (often) in vain but always getting a good result in terms of image. Here finally 3rd in stage 7th.
Pierre Rolland: the old promise of French cycling, never really bloomed but often showing good will.
Warren Barguil: one of the actual and true promises of French cycling, here worked for Mezgec and lost some personal chances (8th in stage 4). Mezgec thanked him publicly so it probably was a team choice to focus on sprints.
Thibaut Pinot: the best placed rider for FDJ (13th), he too a big French talent, a little unlucky this year... 
Tosh van der Sande: many stage top ten, a young ambicious guy who can do better than that (or at least that's what he thinks).
Andrew Talansky: top ten for the Garmin guy, could he have get something more? I tent to think he could but consider that Garmin won the Team Classification: or you are a super squad (CSC) or you end to sacrifice individual goals to reach this collective one when it's close. Very often winner's team is very down in the team classification because the rest of the riders burried themselves for him.
Romain Hardy: Who's that? some good placements by the Cofidis rider...

TEAMS
Good 
Katusha: it brings home the Jersey!
Argos: it brings home three stage victories! and by the same rider!
Garmin: it wins the Best Team Classification and put a rider in the top ten.
BMC: it puts a rider on the podium (that's 'all'... not few!)
Cannondale: Koch saved the team. It (he) brings home the Points Jersey. A 3rd by Daniele Ratto.
Belkin: I'm not sure that was their aim in Catalunya, but Stef Clement stage win and Mountain Jersey are a splendid result. Wilco Kelderman 12th is slightly disappointing but still, he's young! Crashes and illness didn't help the Dutch team.
Tinkoff: Contador 2nd but he came to win. He had already won in Tirreno so... Very good!
Astana: a stage win by Westra and Agnoli 11th. In add Jakob Fuglsang very active.
AG2R: two riders in top ten (Bardet and Pozzovivo). They just won Paris-Nice... Very good.
Bad 
Lampre: empty hands. Almost nothing to remark excluded Ferrari 2nd is stage 2.
ORICA-GE: no results, quite disappointing. Only highlight the young Adam Yates.
Lotto: often in the stage top ten (bravo Tosh van der Sande) but Sander Armee19th is the best placed in GC. Rather few.
So so 
Team Sky: illness, crashes, a last minute re-orientering of the team goals... Chris Froome did his best and his team support him as they can. All considered, not too bad. But for sure NOT what they had hoped about this race.
Trek Factory Racing: a top ten with Kiserlovski, a 4th with Voigt in stage 6th and a lot of abandons. Bad luck but perseverance. They can be proud.
Movistar: a podium in stage 3 by Quintana, finally 5th in GC.
Cofidis: very active in the break-aways but with no luck... (Bagot 5th in stage 7 is the best result, some good placements by Hardy)
Europcar: Rolland 7th in stage 6th, an impressive Reza (a 10th a 8th a 11th), best result: Voeckler 3rd in stage 7th.
OPQS: Carlos Verona made it to the top 20. Not enough for the strongest team in the peloton. But it's fair to say that the big squad was in Belgium. Bright exception: Alaphilippe often on (or around) the podium. Can they be happy with that?

SMALL TEAMS did quite well: CCC Polsat Polkowice: managed to get some very good placements. Wanty was active in many break-aways and final. A bit disapointing Caja-Rural, probably because I was expecting more...

3.30.2014

Coppy&Bartaly!


I'd written it wrong - and corrected - all the race long but after today I think it can stay like that. Team Sky sealed their perfect week by a perfect itt by Dario Catado and with the only ecception of Elia Viviani - who still speaks a good English - all the stage winners ride for the British Team, as well as the GC final winner and the points classification winner. 
Best climber and best youth are Italian and that's good in an Italian race (at least!). Today winner Dario Cataldo is Italian too, he had openly targeted this tt and is obviously satisfied:
147. Settimana Coppi e Bartali - Stage 4: Pavullo - Castello di Montecuccolo ITT [30/03/2014] Dario Cataldo“Everyone has done a really good job this week and it has been a strong team effort. From a personal point of view I was really happy to do a good ride and to move up to second in GC. I thought it might be possible to take second ahead of the stage but with such a short time trial it could be difficult. There was not that much opportunity to take time. It was not a completely flat time trial where a climber could lose a lot of time. I gave it my best and it turned out okay! We won a lot this week but I think the nicest thing about our performance was that we always chose the right tactics. We stuck to what we talked about each morning and we worked together in the right way. That is not easy to do day after day.”

RESULTS
ITT
1 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky 0:16:28.74
2 Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo 0:00:07.87
3 Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:00:11.43
4 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 0:00:13.69
5 Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Itera - Katusha 0:00:17.45
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:00:23.27
7 Alessandro Mazzi (Ita) Utensilnord 0:00:29.20
8 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:00:29.80
9 Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka 0:00:32.02
10 Merhawi Kudus (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka 0:00:35.78
11 Artem Ovechkin (Rus) RusVelo 0:00:35.82
12 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:00:37.66
13 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches - Kuma 0:00:37.67
14 Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale 0:00:38.40
15 Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:00:38.86
16 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) RusVelo 0:00:40.18
17 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky 0:00:40.86
18 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:42.07
19 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky 0:00:43.37
20 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo 0:00:46.48
FINAL GC
1 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky 10:30:40
2 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:12
3 Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo 0:00:35
4 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:00:43
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale 0:00:50
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:01:06
7 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) RusVelo 0:01:20
8 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:01:24
9 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia 0:01:45
10 Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:01:48
11 Simone Petilli (Ita) Area Zero Pro Team 0:02:54
12 Davide Mucelli (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team 0:02:57
13 Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale 0:03:07
14 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise 0:03:45
15 Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:04:06
16 Fabio Taborre (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo 0:04:10
17 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky 0:04:13
18 Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:04:15
19 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo 0:04:24
20 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Christina Watches - Kuma 0:04:34
 ......
POINTS
1 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
MOUNTAINS

1 Mirko Tedeschi (Ita) Team Idea
YOUTH

1 Simone Petilli (Ita) Area Zero Pro Team
TEAM

1 Team Sky

Volta a Catalunya 7: The Braver The Winner

Purito Rodriguez
...and that's Lieuwe Westra. He was part of the early break-away including also Stef Clement (Belkin), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Daniele Ratto (Cannondale), Cédric Pineau (FDJ.fr), Boris Vallee (Lotto-Belisol), Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar), Fumiyuki Beppu (Trek Factory), Maciej Paterski (CCC), Yohan Bagot (Cofidis) and two Wanty riders, Jerome Baugnies and Michel Kreder. It was a consistent group and it worked very well. They went till the line, Westra attacking solo and taking the victory tt-style. 
Behind the bigs missed the spot. Under a rainy sky, on wet tricky road, only Contador attacked but couldn't drop Purito who won the overall..
Chris Froome even crashed but kept his temper and his GC place (6th).
Impressive Trek Factory Racing Kiserlovski who managed to stay 10th in GC in spite his team was decimated.

What Lieuwe Westra said:
Pic by
"The break worked together for two laps as normal, it was a difficult race but a good day and I had good legs, I was watching Voeckler, he went for it two or three times from behind me, and I thought I could do better than that by myself. I looked for the right place to attack, went for it on the top of the climb, and made it all the way to the finish. After yesterday the team was not happy that a break had managed to get away without any of us, so we made very sure to get somebody in today's move. I was directly in the good group from the start of the stage and had a good feeling we could stay away. It's very important for me to win with Astana. I was pretty sure that I could win it, with two and a half laps to go I felt pretty certain. I'd been one of the better climbers in the group on the ascent, so I knew that if I got away, it'd be hard to pull me back."

What Tejay van Garderen said:
"It was really a successful week. I had no idea how my form was going to be coming into it after the setback I had before Paris-Nice. I stayed confident and the team showed a lot of confidence in me. They all rode really well. I think we have the momentum back and we're looking forward to the next race, which is Pays Basque." 
What Stef Clement (King of Mountain) said:
"You just have to keep on trying, that's what cycling is all about, you do your job and keep battling and eventually it will all come right at one time. This week was that time. It's a huge thrill to be able to do this with the team and the morale has been so high it just carries you forward and inspires you. I normally like the heat and the sun but it seems that I can cope with the worst of weather too!"

Trek Factory Racing about Robert Kiserolvski (10th in GC):
“Robert was in the crash with Froome and there are no transponders on the spare bikes so both were missing in the first results,” said DS Gallopin. “We quickly sorted that out with the jury. The overall did not change.”

RESULTS
STAGE

1 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 2:36:14
2 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:01:22
3 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
4 Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:01:26
5 Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:36
6 Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida 0:02:07
7 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
8 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr
10 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha

FINAL GC
1 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 29:41:34
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:04
3 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:07
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:10
5 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
6 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:17
7 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:00:18
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:26
9 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:42
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:48
11 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:00
12 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:01
13 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:01:20
14 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:24
15 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 0:01:26
16 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 0:01:49
17 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky 0:01:54
18 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:58
19 Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Belisol
20 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:34
21 Carlos Verona (Spa) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:03:37
22 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:03:42
23 Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:03:44
24 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:03:47
25 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:00
26 José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:42
27 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA 0:04:49
28 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:05:21
29 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:06:26
30 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:07:25
31 George Bennett (NZl) Cannondale 0:07:28
32 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:08:16
33 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar 0:08:23
34 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:08:49
35 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:09:24
36 Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:09:25
37 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA 0:12:07
38 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:12:49
39 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha 0:12:58
40 Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenEdge 0:14:19
41 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team 0:14:53
42 Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:14:54
43 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team 0:15:12
44 Stef Clement (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:16:08
45 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:16:53
46 Jhoan Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge 0:17:05
47 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:18:37
48 Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:18:50
49 Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale 0:19:15
50 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:23:03
51 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team 0:23:27
52 Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:24:06
53 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:24:31
54 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Team Europcar 0:24:55
55 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:25:24
56 Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale 0:25:44
57 Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:25:55
58 Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida 0:26:09
59 Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:26:14
60 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 0:27:06
61 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:27:43
62 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:27:44
63 Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory Racing 0:28:08
64 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin Sharp 0:28:52
65 Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:29:08
66 Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:29:21
67 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:29:23
68 Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar 0:29:57
69 Javier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Garmin Sharp 0:30:38
70 Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:32:14
71 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar 0:33:30
72 Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:35:00
73 Martijn Keizer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:35:17
74 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:35:37
75 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:36:06
76 Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:36:30
77 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:36:38
78 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:36:49
79 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:36:56
80 Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano 0:37:24
81 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:37:47
82 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:38:04
83 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:39:16
84 Boris Vallee (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:39:20
85 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek Factory Racing 0:39:22
86 Michel Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:40:45
87 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:41:30
88 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar 0:41:34
89 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA 0:41:43
90 Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:42:08
91 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha 0:42:43
92 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.fr 0:43:40
93 Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale 0:43:51
94 Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 0:46:10
95 Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team Europcar 0:47:23
96 Julian Kern (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale 0:50:56
97 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 0:51:26
98 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha 0:51:27
99 Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky 0:52:20
100 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr 1:00:07
101 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 1:11:40
MOUNTAIN
1 Stef Clement (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
POINTS
1 Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale
TEAM
1 Garmin Sharp 89:08:15
2 AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:21
3 Astana Pro Team 0:01:40
4 Cofidis, Solutions Credit 0:02:44
5 Team Sky 0:04:59
6 Movistar Team 0:08:04
7 BMC Racing Team 0:10:06
8 Team Katusha 0:11:23
9 Lotto Belisol 0:11:40
10 Omega Pharma - Quick-Step 0:12:48
11 FDJ.fr 0:15:16
12 Caja Rural - Seguros RGA 0:20:54
13 Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:22:52
14 Cannondale 0:23:55
15 Team Europcar 0:27:01
16 Orica GreenEdge 0:29:11
17 Tinkoff-Saxo 0:36:38
18 Lampre-Merida 0:46:56
19 CCC Polsat Polkowice 0:48:23
20 Team Giant-Shimano 0:53:01
21 Trek Factory Racing 0:54:54
22 Wanty - Groupe Gobert 1:14:49

Criterium International: attacking all the way...

...toward Col de l'Hopital. It was supposed to be so and so it has been. Trek Factory Racing did a lot of work to prepare Frank Schleck's attack and he didn't disappointed his team: he attacked many and many times, showing a splendid shape and maybe a too large generosity. The stage winner, Mathias Frank, won indead in counterattack jumping out Frank's wheel. Waiting a little, managing it coldly Frank could have won this one. No doubt he's going to get a beautiful victory this year and probably in a more beautiful race... Ardennes Classics are close and I see Frank Schleck is ready.
Mathias Frank was dangerous also in the GC so Péraud couldn't let him go: same time for them in a last-breath uphill sprint. And remember what I said: keep an eye on French guys! Lately they definitely rock and I'm developing a - sporty! - crush for AlexisVuillermoz...

What  Jean-Christophe Péraud  said:
"I have the sense of having accomplished my duty. The Criterium International was a bit more open this year and it was an opportunity not to be missed. This is a great event and I’m glad to win it, it’s really a sheer happiness. I was looking for a victory in a stages race for a while and it’s done. On the final part, I counted every seconds to be able to win the overall classification. I had nothing against letting someone go out, but I knew that Mathias Frank was the only one I couldn't permit to break away if I wanted to win. In the leading group, there were attacks but also some temporized moments, it was really psychologically difficult. The whole Equipe cycliste AG2R LA MONDIALE has once again worked well and Alexis (Vuillermoz) had a very important role in the final kilometers. He has widely made his contribution to this victory by accelerating and thereby leaving behind some strong riders. Next goal for me, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, a race that I particularly enjoy.”

What Tom Dumoulin said: 
“I gave it my best today but at the end the other guys were climbing quicker than I could and that it that. It was great to wear the yellow jersey and to have the respect that you get from all the other riders. We had a young group of guys here and to win a stage and have the yellow jersey was still a good result and we can be proud of the way we rode. Personally I’m really happy to have got my first win and it will hopefully give me the extra confidence I need now to keep challenging for more wins over the course of the season.

What Frank Schleck said:
“I felt I was the strongest in the climb and honestly after the 6th or 7th time attacking I also got tired. Fourth is not a bad place. Overall, it was fun, and really good to see the team riding as they did. We wanted to do something special today. The boys told me, ‘you are going to win on Sunday, we race for you, and then you can take that present home to the family.  So we had a plan for that, and I had the confidence to pull that off. We have a young team, and they worked the plan very well.  We did everything possible, and for me it was a lot like Paris-Nice. I attacked many times, but the climb was not quite hard enough in the end. Now I am looking forward to traveling home to see my new, little baby girl. The team gave me the option to return home but I chose to stay and do the race. I had a great opportunity today and just missed it.  The pressure was big today, and I am confident about my shape. And Bob [Jungels] was great today. There is definitely a lot more to come from him."

RESULTS
STAGE
1 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 4:43:59
2 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
3 Tiago Machado (Por) Team NetApp - Endura 0:00:02
4 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:03
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
6 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne - Seche Environnement 0:00:13
7 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:20
8 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia 0:00:36
9 Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Team La Pomme Marseille 13
10 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
GC
1 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 7:00:12
2 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:00:01
3 Tiago Machado (Por) Team NetApp - Endura 0:00:19
4 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:25
5 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne - Seche Environnement 0:00:26
6 Fränk Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:28
7 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:47
8 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:48
9 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:57
10 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia 0:01:07

Gent-Wevelgem: Elimination Race

Hills and crashes, crashes and hills. They did the work as I can work out. Look at the faces: surviors'. 
Ian Stannard (Sky) crashed out as well as Francisco Ventoso (Movistar), both to the the hospital. In a second big crash Christopher Sutton (Sky), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) crashed and many others had to stop. 
From the early break-away - including also Sebastian Lander (BMC), Marcel Aregger (IAM), Jaco Venter (MTN-Qhubeka) and Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Robert) - Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) was the last one left and finally caught atop the Monteberg.
All together 35km to go, all beated and bruised, all breathing  dust. The last attack came by Stijn Devolder (Trek Factory Racing), Silvan Dillier (BMC) and Andrey Amador (Movistar), neutralised 2 km to go by a large group. Hard pulling at the front by Cancellara, Sagan and Boonen but too many sprinters in the buch to prevent a bunch sprint. And Johan Degenkolb sprinted to win.
According to http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/gent-wevelgem-2014/results
"Degenkolb blew kisses to the television camera as he celebrated his victory.  "This is one of the really big Classics and I'm very happy to get this victory," he said "This is the next step in my career. I won Hamburg and that's a WorldTour race but with respect to it, this is a big, big race. It's great to win here."

What John Degenkolb said: 
“This race is one of the really big classics and I am so happy to add Gent-Wevelgem to my palmares. The race worked out perfectly for us today. The guys were really strong and Dries did a great job chasing towards the end – he is really strong at the moment. Koen de Kort positioned me perfectly in the final, driving me onto Sagan’s wheel and I had the right position and could come through at the right time so it was a fantastic sprint. I am a very happy man. My shape is good and this is a good sign for the next big races. Last weekend at Milan-Sanremo was probably one of the most disappointing moments of my career, and today everything went 100% better than last week so I can forget about that disappointment now.”

What Stijn Devolder said: 
“My form is good, and I already showed that in Harelbeke when I had to bridge to front group after the crash. Today I tried and just missed it; maybe with a little more luck it would have worked. I believed we had it until 2k to go. Then when Greipel crashed we thought this could be a key moment - that it could disrupt the chase behind – but not really. We had excellent collaboration between the three of us.  Now I am going to ride some more kilometers - my dad is waiting with the derny.”
What Andre Greipel ‏said:
"Legs were there-team was there-chance was there-but then this bike was there-no chance to avoid a free flight. Congrats @johndegenkolb "

Team Sky DS about crashes:
 “There were a lot of crashes today and our guys got caught up in a few. We had a lot of bad luck. Edvald didn’t go down but he was constantly behind crashes and lost his position in the peloton. He had to chase back and then just as he’d get there there’d be another crash. Geraint and Bernie were riding well. G went down heading into the closing stages but luckily he is okay. We ended up with four guys left coming into the final but they got held up behind the next set of crashes. It wasn’t our luckiest day today but hopefully we’ve used up a lot of the bad luck ahead of next week. The guys are riding well so we just need to keep our chins up and look ahead to Sunday and Flanders.
Doctor Phil Riley said: "CJ [Sutton] has a nasty flesh wound to his left knee which has been cleaned and dressed and he’s going to fly home to Spain and have it reassessed in a few days’ time. Ian has had CT scans which have confirmed a back injury. He will stay in hospital on tonight and will also be reassessed tomorrow before we decide whether or not he has to go home. Geraint is fine. Our physiotherapist Nathan Thomas checked him over after the race and G also confirmed that to me over the phone."
“There were a lot of crashes today and our guys got caught up in a few,” he confirmed. “We had a lot of bad luck.
“Edvald didn’t go down but he was constantly behind crashes and lost his position in the peloton. He had to chase back and then just as he’d get there there’d be another crash.
“Geraint and Bernie were riding well. G went down heading into the closing stages but luckily he is okay. We ended up with four guys left coming into the final but they got held up behind the next set of crashes. It wasn’t our luckiest day today but hopefully we’ve used up a lot of the bad luck ahead of next week.
“The guys are riding well so we just need to keep our chins up and look ahead to Sunday and Flanders.”
After the race, Doctor Phil Riley was able to shed some light on Team Sky's casualties, but admitted it would take more time for the full extent of the riders' injuries to be known.
He said: "CJ [Sutton] has a nasty flesh wound to his left knee which has been cleaned and dressed and he’s going to fly home to Spain and have it reassessed in a few days’ time.

"Ian has had CT scans which have confirmed a back injury. He will stay in hospital on tonight and will also be reassessed tomorrow before we decide whether or not he has to go home.

"Geraint is fine. Our physiotherapist Nathan Thomas checked him over after the race and G also confirmed that to me over the phone."

Read more at http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,30353_9241078,00.html#t3IhZqj2w1SehuoK.99

MORE TO COME
RESULTS
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 5:34:43
2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr

3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale

4 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team

5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team

6 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise

7 Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha

8 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale

9 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team

10 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
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